• Question: do you think that the increase in university fees will decrease the number of people who invest in a career similar to yours?

    Asked by awoods to David, James, Mike, Suze, Will on 16 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Mike Dodd

      Mike Dodd answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      I think that the increase in university fees is going to have a huge impact in every department. I think there will be a reduction in students coming through. I know Oxford have some great schemes to help pay for more people to go to university, but not sure if others will. I think it might stop some people going to uni to do science. But hope it doesn’t!

    • Photo: David Ingram

      David Ingram answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      I’m not sure – the change in the way fees are charged (they will be rolled up in student debt) should make it easier than having to pay upfront. But the increase will make it harder! Universities will also have schemes to help students.

      Most of us who do science degrees choose to do them – knowing the courses require more time in the lab, in lectures and tutorials than some arts courses. And our choice is vocational. So I hope it dosen’t deter motivated students.

      I have to say that the fee structure is different in Scotland and at the moment Scottish students do not pay fees here and English students pay less than they would south of the border.

    • Photo: James Marrow

      James Marrow answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      I think it will discourage some people – it’s a bit like taking out a mortgage on your education. If you’re not comfortable about the idea of such a long term debt, then it might dissuade you. I don’t think it should, however. Many people expect to have a mortgage on their house, and live with it. The benefits of the education are huge, however. Education costs, and as we have (rightly) increased the number of people at universities, we need to pay for it either by increased taxation or increased fees.

    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      I think it will have an impact, definitely, but at the end of the day, every student has debts from Uni, and everyone that you go to Uni with will be in the same boat. The good thing is that someone else (the government, or your local education anthority, I believe?) will pay for it at the time, and then when you get a job and start earning over a certain amount, they’ll take a little bit each month to pay it back. The student debt will then be getting smaller and smaller, and you won’t have to pay it all back in one huge lump sum or anything.

      I think it is worth the money, because some of the skills that I learned at Uni (not just sciencey stuff, but also social skills, how to deal with different people, or how to handle different situations than what I had been used to) are really valuable. I also did a great degree at a wonderful Uni, and I’ve made friends for life there too, who mean so much to me. It was definitely worth it for me, so I wouldn’t let the fees fiasco stop you 🙂

    • Photo: William Eborall

      William Eborall answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      I think that there might be a decrease in the number of people going to university due to the fees increase. However I think that those people who do still chose to go will become much more demanding in what they expect from their teachers and tutors. After all I think you have a right to ask if I’m paying three times more for my education that someone who started the year before me, what am I getting extra for my money. That might be an unfair expectation to universities but I think it would be a genuine point.